The Perilous Public Square

Structural Threats to Free Expression Today

Edited by David E. Pozen

Columbia University Press

The Perilous Public Square

Pub Date: June 2020

ISBN: 9780231197137

392 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $30.00£24.00

Pub Date: June 2020

ISBN: 9780231197120

392 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $120.00£100.00

Pub Date: June 2020

ISBN: 9780231551991

392 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£25.00

The Perilous Public Square

Structural Threats to Free Expression Today

Edited by David E. Pozen

Columbia University Press

Americans of all political persuasions fear that “free speech” is under attack. This may seem strange at a time when legal protections for free expression remain strong and overt government censorship minimal. Yet a range of political, economic, social, and technological developments have raised profound challenges for how we manage speech. New threats to political discourse are mounting—from the rise of authoritarian populism and national security secrecy to the decline of print journalism and public trust in experts to the “fake news,” trolling, and increasingly subtle modes of surveillance made possible by digital technologies.

The Perilous Public Square brings together leading thinkers to identify and investigate today’s multifaceted threats to free expression. They go beyond the campus and the courthouse to pinpoint key structural changes in the means of mass communication and forms of global capitalism. Beginning with Tim Wu’s inquiry into whether the First Amendment is obsolete, Matthew Connelly, Jack Goldsmith, Kate Klonick, Frederick Schauer, Olivier Sylvain, and Heather Whitney explore ways to address these dangers and preserve the essential features of a healthy democracy. Their conversations with other leading thinkers, including Danielle Citron, Jelani Cobb, Frank Pasquale, Geoffrey Stone, Rebecca Tushnet, and Kirsten Weld, cross the disciplinary boundaries of First Amendment law, internet law, media policy, journalism, legal history, and legal theory, offering fresh perspectives on fortifying the speech system and reinvigorating the public square.
A perfect book for our time, and a true public service. A terrific and impressively diverse collection, exploring multiple threats to freedom of speech. Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University

About the Author

David E. Pozen is a professor of law at Columbia Law School and served as the inaugural visiting scholar at the Knight First Amendment Institute. He is coeditor of Troubling Transparency: The History and Future of Freedom of Information (Columbia, 2018). In 2019, the American Law Institute awarded Pozen its Early Career Scholars Medal.